[Editor’s Note: This section of the article is written by the editors of eCampus News and are not the recommendations of the author]

Facilitating Online Resource Aggregation for Post-Election Discussions

According to recent research, guideline refreshes and institutional case studies, one of the best ways to facilitate meaningful and productive discussion on the election results is by teaching, supporting and encouraging digital literacy among students.

Recently, the New Media Consortium (NMC), in conjunction with the 2016 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, released Digital Literacy: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief –a call to action for higher education leaders in an effort to establish a shared vision of digital literacy and how to make it more meaningful for students.

Tips for Faculty:

1. Help students define what makes a good online resource.

2. Be an example for students on how to discuss the election results in a civil and respectful way.

3. Help student identify valid sources in a variety of online formats.

The brief notes that today’s digitally literate student must not only be able to define what makes a good online resource (citation, validity of source, fact comparison to other valid sources), but also be able to maintain a civil discussion on online forums. For example, sociology courses may be able to harness election coverage to teach interpersonal actions online, such as the ethics and politics of social network interaction, while psychology and business classes can focus on computer-mediated human interaction.

Students must also be able to identify more than just valid sources of online news material. Other mediums included in digital literacy are videos on popular sites like YouTube, personal and professional blogs, and social media accounts.

Faculty will play a critical role in not only modeling the kind of behavior and tone of discourse they’d like to see in their students, but are an invaluable guide in teaching these aspects of today’s digital literacy to students.

About the Author:

Anne G. Barretta is an Adjunct Communications Professor at both William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. and at Ramapo College in Mahwah, N.J. She is also the President of the University of Delaware Alumni Association, Newark, DE.

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